Switch-on to at­tract whole fam­i­lies

80 000 peo­ple are ex­pected at this year’s cel­e­bra­tion and se­cu­rity will be tight

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - LUKE FOLB

THE CITY of Cape Town is look­ing at mak­ing this year’s cel­e­bra­tion of the fes­tive lights switch-on a safer af­fair in a bid to at­tract “whole fam­i­lies back to the event”.

With 80000 peo­ple ex­pected to at­tend, safety and se­cu­rity is the pri­or­ity, with 120 law en­force­ment of­fi­cers slated to be on duty through­out the event.

“The fo­cus this year is to bring back whole fam­i­lies to the event.

“The area will be fenced and en­try will be through se­cured ac­cess points with chutes and a search sys­tem.

“The Kid Smart Pro­ject is on board this year, which will pro­vide a more so­phis­ti­cated mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem to help re­unite lost chil­dren with their fam­i­lies,” said may­oral com­mit­tee mem­ber for safety and se­cu­rity, JP Smith.

Road clo­sures, park­ing and a traf­fic man­age­ment plan are be­ing fi­nalised and the pub­lic will be able to find the traf­fic plans on the city’s web­site.

The an­nual event has been an in­sti­tu­tion in the city since 1969 and the light dis­plays will brighten up Ad­der­ley Street for the du­ra­tion of the sea­son.

This year’s event will in­clude a free open-air con­cert at the Grand Pa­rade be­fore the lights are turned on.

Ad­der­ley Street will again be trans­formed into a night mar­ket.

This year’s theme is Cape Town Cel­e­brates Sum­mer.

Smith said en­ergy-sav­ing LED light bulbs would be used for all the light­ing dis­plays.

“Rope light­ing was se­lected as the most cost-ef­fec­tive method as it re­duces the amount of time spent and also dra­mat­i­cally re­duces the load­ing on the sys­tem.

“Due to its flex­i­bil­ity, the rope light­ing also al­lows us lots of free­dom with our designs,” he said.

The light­ing dis­play was de­signed in-house by the city’s elec­tric­ity depart­ment staff.

The event, in­clud­ing the lights, costs about R1.5 mil­lion. This year’s con­cert on the Pa­rade will fea­ture new­ly­crowned Idols win­ner Pax­ton Fielies, Voice SA win­ner Craig Lu­cas, Baby Boy, Soul Kul­ture, Heav­enly Quar­tez, Koos Kom­buis, Vicky Samp­son, Jimmy Ne­vis and Fresh­ly­ground.

Round­ing off the line-up will be the win­ners of the city’s Fes­tive Lights mu­sic video com­pe­ti­tion.

As­pir­ing mu­si­cians and bands sub­mit their video to the Indi.com mo­bile app and the pub­lic votes for their favourite per­for­mance.

The win­ner will get a spot to per­form at the con­cert and R10 000.

The com­pe­ti­tion runs un­til Tues­day.

“The fes­tive lights switch-on is al­ways a high­light on the city’s an­nual events cal­en­dar as it is a won­der­ful fam­ily oc­ca­sion for young and old to en­joy.

“It at­tracts not only lo­cal res­i­dents, but vis­i­tors from afar, and all are met with a warm and true Capeto­nian re­cep­tion,” said mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille.

PIC­TURE: DAVID RITCHIE

The city coun­cil will be pri­ori­tis­ing safety at the switch­ing on of this year’s fes­tive lights.

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